Harnessing Opportunities in a Digital Age

An old-world told us to stick to a single discipline but also that we’re likely to have multiple careers within a lifetime. In university, we studied in the one faculty and at careers fairs, we were segmented to aim for a single career to gain market entry. This is paradoxical to market prospects.

From what I’ve seen studying in institutions and engaging with the corporate sector, following definition is limiting; and it has been those that haven’t wanted change who’ve been afraid of growth because of how it might disrupt a system that defined them. That’s right — there’s growth in change and learning in adaption.

During a time where a virus outbreak has upended systems that these mentalities were built around, any definition has to be erased and we have to start thinking differently about our lifestyles — how we live, work, what the growth industries are, and how we apply our education. Give up defining yourself, you won’t fail you’ll come to life.

Image: Fall by Julius Popp, MONA. Popp’s work often uses technology, resulting in interdisciplinary ventures which reach across the boundaries of art and science.

How people in co-living are working

UKO is a collection of unique co-living spaces in Sydney comprised of remote workers, freelancers, startup founders, and recent grads breaking into industries… it’s global and it’s diverse. Within co-living, the people that you share your resources with are not just neighbors. They’re family at group dinners, friends for weekend adventures, and your inspiration for your next business idea or a collaborator on a project.

How people in co-living are learning

There’s an approach from a co-living community to design lifestyles as a collective. With such ambition, it’s essential to be a problem-solver and to think a bit differently. The collective is reflective of a growth mindset and full of inspiration.

A friend that I’ve made within the UKO community exemplifies this mentality… I met her as a digital marketer however discovered her background as a fashion designer. In her case, although educated and experienced in the discipline of fashion design, she was using digital technologies in her work which translates to digital marketing. It’s a world defined by social media — it’s full of content — visual imagery — like fashion design. In marketing terminology, the imagery is known as ‘assets’ in and messaging is how you communicate a brand…wow, how value is changing and existing virtually! Her education is applied in a new profession which adds value. Design is an interesting angle to work from within digital marketing, a profession heavily focussed on analytics and performance indicators and return on investment.

This is the importance of developing diverse networks. Wherever there’s different knowledge and experience to what you have there’s so much to be learned. Don’t be bound by what you perceive as your limits… to the contrary always think about how to push them further. I see that now is not the time to back down from evolution but to pursue it. The value in a lifestyle built around community amplifies the opportunities and ability to create such networks.

The future professional

As COVID has upended the systems that we were indoctrinated into, there’s the opportunity to create new ones in a community that supports the adaption of work and life. Co-living is shaping the future professional and there’s no better time than now than to contribute to creating this.

If you’ve defined yourself — give it up. Lean into a community such as a UKO and investigate the ‘how’ in terms of addressing challenges and understanding the ways in which people are freelancing, consulting, working from home, and building side hustles. If you’re wondering how to get started, watch this space as we look further into the specifics. Breaks in the system mean the opportunity to create something new — old ways won’t open new doors.